Tag Archives: tea

London, Part II: Tea, corgis, and art.

At long last, the wrap-up to our circumnavacation! I am finally getting down to the business of transcribing the record of our last day in London. Steve and I were feeling overwhelmed by all the traveling we had to do, but we had it in us to do one last day of sprint-sightseeing! We caught another quick breakfast with our Airbnb host, and took a combination of bus and Tube into town.

First on our list was Trafalgar Square and Nelson’s Column. It was certainly a grand and impressive plaza, but very little to actually do. We noticed some cleaning personnel pushing long-handled brooms around the bottoms of the large fountains in Trafalgar Square, clearing it of green mold, which certainly brings these historical monuments back to mundane reality. Our next two stops were Horse Guards’ Parade (where, predictably enough, there are guards on horseback standing at attention) and further down the same street, 10 Downing Street, where the British Prime Minister (currently David Cameron) typically lives. Eventually, we made it to Big Ben just as it struck noon, and Steve and I hung about Big Ben (which is attached to the Houses of Parliament) for a while, taking in the sights. Just across the street from that is Westminster Abbey, looking very grey, august, and full of gorgeous stained-glass windows. We ended up having lunch in the grass outside, enjoying the scenery, and after a lengthy debate, decided to pay the ridiculous fee of eighteen pounds per person (about $70 USD altogether!). Then we got up and started walking down the line outside Westminster Abbey, and my heart just slowly sank as we figured out the line was well over an hour long. After looking at each other, we nearly wordlessly agreed that while it was definitely worth seeing, it wasn’t worth sacrificing half of what we had planned for the rest of the day. We thus walked a little bit more around the Houses of Parliament, then moved on. Continue reading London, Part II: Tea, corgis, and art.

Taiwan, how will I miss thee? Let me count the ways.

Tomorrow evening, Steve and I will board a flight out of Taipei to Chiang Mai, Thailand. Our last day in Taipei will be filled with frantic errands, like mailing a package off to the United States, hanging out one last time with friends we’ve barely gotten to know, and ordering our favorite dishes for dinner one last time.

For several weeks now, I’ve been saying goodbye to Taiwan. Every time I walk by a market stall and catch a glimpse of a snack I once tried, I silently mourn the fact that I won’t be able to try it again. Each time I buy a tea drink, I think about the many desolate tea-less countries ahead, and that I won’t just be able to buy us tea to go with our lunch. In small ways and big, I am feeling nostalgia about our time here already.

“One green jasmine tea, half sugar, half ice, please.”

I am going to miss Taiwan. There is just no way around that simple fact. I think Steve and I have made it pretty clear that we think Taiwan is the bee’s knees when it comes to so many things, but on this, our next-to-last evening in Taiwan, it’s really hitting hard that not only will we have to say goodbye to a number of amazing, beautiful things, but that we will also need to take on a different frame of mind for travel in other countries, particularly in Southeast Asia. It is a mixed blessing, but right now, I can only grasp how sad we are to be leaving Taiwan. Reader, if we have not convinced you yet that Taiwan should be a destination for you too someday, here is our last ditch attempt.

Continue reading Taiwan, how will I miss thee? Let me count the ways.